MRI Discogram (MRI Disc Spectroscopy)
Panorama Radiology Specialists’ state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner is uniquely equipped to perform a leading-edge specialised imaging technique known as MRI Disc Spectroscopy or MRI Discography. A MRI Discogram helps localise the source of lower back pain from disc disease by non-invasively analysing the biochemical structure of the intervertebral disc to identify discs with elevated levels of pain-generating acid (lactate), and biochemical markers of structural breakdown of the disc (proteoglycan and collagen degeneration).
MRI Discography is a new non-invasive test that uniquely allows the radiologist to determine the likely source of discogenic back pain by identifying 1 or more intervertebral discs, which may have elevated lactate levels and evidence of structural breakdown, indicating inflammation and possibly instability. MRI Discography offers a non-invasive alternative to conventional discography.
Conventional discography is an invasive test performed under CT or X-Ray guidance which has been used for many decades to localise the source of discogenic back pain, by injecting contrast dye directly into the disc in order to reproduce the patient’s usual discogenic pain symptoms. In our experience, an invasive discogram procedure can often be associated with significant discomfort and can sometimes can cause irritation or injury to the adjacent spinal nerve roots.
An MRI Discography test is similar to a standard MRI scan, with all the usual precautions, including the exclusion of metallic objects or most metallic implants within the MRI room.
MRI Discography Fees
MRI Discography does incur a subsidised out-of-pocket fee as there is no Medicare rebate for this test.